Next Episode of The Art That Made Mexico is
In this three-part series, artist Alinka Echeverria explores how, across the millennia, three major forces have propelled change and made their mark on Mexico.
In this first episode, Alinka explores how nature and land have shaped Mexican art and how radical Mexican artists shook off the European influence that followed the Spanish Conquest of the 16th Century.
She looks at how, 100 years after independence in 1810, artists began to depict Mexico's ancient landscapes, such as the symbolic volcanoes that dominate the Valley of Mexico, using a new style of painting that was resolutely Mexican, confirming the re-established connections between Mexico's indigenous population and their land.
In this second episode, Alinka argues indigenous artists not only projected the power of the elites in its ancient civilisations but became power-brokers in the struggles for political dominance. Power has changed hands quickly and often violently in Mexico and Alinka looks at how art has played an extraordinary role in providing a national story of unity and stability.
From Diego Rivera, who painted a spectacular sweep of Mexican history as he and the government who commissioned him wanted it understood to Frida Kahlo, who used her considerable influence to make the personal political in gender politics and who amplified indigenous voices. Alinka also investigates how today, nowhere is it more important to express Mexican power and identity than at its borders, such as in Tijuana, where the creativity is fired by matters of everyday politics and the proximity to the US.
In this final episode, Alinka explores how faith has always driven life in Mexico.
She reveals how artists were kept close to the elites in Mexico's ancient civilisations, depicting the deities that were the foundations of the society's structures and beliefs. Gods and goddesses were created in the mind's eye of millions, who in turn worshipped the imagery that the artists provided.
Alinka explains how, when the Spanish imposed Catholicism after the Spanish Conquest, the notion of venerating the divine using iconography already existed in Mexico and explores some of Mexico's most spectacular art, which blends Mesoamerican and Catholic iconography.
Finally, she discovers how today, one artist is pushing the boundaries of belief, incorporating symbols of secular culture and consumerism with religious imagery.
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